Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ray Kelly Booed Off Stage During Brown University Talk

Ray Kelly Booed Off Stage During Speech at Brown University in Boston : "Racism is not for debate"

A student-led backlash to NYPD Police Commish Ray Kelly speaking at the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University had been brewing for days, The Wall Street Journal reported. Several student groups and Providence residents attempted to get the university to rescind Mr. Kelly's invitation, which was denied. "Mr. Kelly has been heralded for bringing crime in New York City to the lowest point in more than 50 years, but he has also been in the spotlight after a federal judge ruled that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practice was unconstitutional because it disproportionately targets minorities," The Wall Street Journal report added. Watch the video of the heckling. One student shouts, "Racism is not for debate !"

During the recent Democratic primary race for the next mayoral administration in New York City, Mr. Kelly became the intense focus of criticism when former primary front-runner Christine Quinn expressed her unflinching support for Mr. Kelly's unconstitutional policies of racism and police brutality. Controversies over police procedures has been a hallmark of the Bloomberg-Quinn administration.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joe's Walk For Change - Arriving at Love Park

Joe Bell set off on foot across the United States after losing his son, Jadin, to suicide. Jadin was bullied relentlessly for being gay, both in school and online. After this terrible loss, Joe set off on a cross-country walk to raise awareness about bullying and to change people's minds. Unfortunately, Joe died after he was run over by a big rig.

Joe's death has inspired many people to take up what's come to be called "Joe's Walk For Change," in an effort for others to complete segments of Joe's walk that he left unfinished. Here's a very inspiring video by Brad Crothers, who walked a 57 mile segment from Quarryville, PA to Philadelphia.

Joe's Walk For Change is a nonprofit organization created by Joe Bell, who was walking across the United States to stop bullying and save lives.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

U.S.A. Has Been Spying On Angela Merkel Since 2002

La N.S.A. Espionnait Les Français by connaissable

Did Barack Obama Know About N.S.A. Wiretaps on Angela Merkel's Cellphone ?

"Le quotidien Bild am Sonntag cite ce dimanche des sources des services de renseignement américains selon lesquelles le chef de la NSA, Keith Alexander, avait informé Barak Obama d'une opération d'écoute des communications de la chancelière allemande dès 2010," meaning that President Obama knew of the spying on Angela Merkel since 2010.

"Le Spiegel indiquait samedi soir, au vu de documents de la NSA, que la chancelière figurait sur une liste d'écoutes depuis 2002, et l'était encore quelques semaines avant la visite du président américain à Berlin, en juin dernier," meaning that Merkel was still on the list of spy targets just a few weeks before President Obama's visit to Berlin last June.

However, the article ends in confusion, because it was reported that, " Selon Der Spiegel, le président américain lui aurait dit que s'il l'avait su, il y aurait immédiatement mis fin," meaning that Obama said that he would have ended the spying on Merkel if he had known about it, creating a contradiction between what Der Spiegel and Bild am Sonntag are reporting. If President Obama said he would have ended the spying on Merkel if he had known about it, then why are there indications that he was informed of it in 2010, but Merkel continued to appear on the spy list until this year ?

Source : Scandale de la NSA : Angela Merkel était écoutée depuis 2002 (Le Parisien)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The N.S.A. spy programme is causing a growing diplomatic crisis for Obama

La N.S.A. Espionne Les Françaises by connaissable

Did White House officials approve the N.S.A.'s spying of 35 world leaders ?

The growing scandal of the U.S. spying on our European allies is threatening to engulf the White House, and, typically, administration officials are trying to protect the president from accountability for the scandal. "Inside the administration it has touched off behind-the-scenes recriminations between the White House and the intelligence agencies over how much detail was given to White House officials about which world leaders are being monitored," The New York Times is reporting, adding, "A senior administration official declined to say what Mr. Obama knew or did not know about monitoring of Ms. Merkel’s phone, but said the president 'doesn’t think we are in the right place.' " If it is illegal to spy on Germans without proper legal authority, did the Obama administration break German law by spying on the German chancellor ? If the Republicans weren't such a joke right now, they should be leading the charge to investigate these allegations.

  • N.S.A. monitored calls of 35 world leaders after U.S. official handed over contacts ; NSA encourages departments to share their 'Rolodexes' (The Guardian)
  • Angela Merkel and François Hollande lead push at E.U. summit to reshape transatlantic spying and agree new code of conduct (The Guardian)

Angela Merkel NSA cellphone spying surveillance President Obama approval photo Angela-Merkel-smartphone_zps9b6a788d.jpg

The official U.S. response has "evolved" from accusing the N.S.A. contractor Edward Snowden of being a "spy," to denying reports that the U.S. has spied on European citizens, to trying to isolate the White House from legal and political ramifications of the unconstitutional and illegal N.S.A. surveillance programme. Since our own impotent reporters inside the Beltway appear to enable the Obama administration's expansion of the NSA espionage programme, then the only outside pressure that is going to make a real difference is going to be the foreign press, especially from our allies. Let's see if our allies have the courage to "draw a line in the sand" or to propose economic sanctions against the U.S. until President Obama dismantles the illegal surveillance state his administration steadfastly helped to build ? The N.S.A's espionage may now amount to acts of crime in the eyes of foreign nations. If American courts are not going to recognize the violations of law by the N.S.A., then surely the courts of our allies will.

Meanwhile, the political legitimacy of the N.S.A. surveillance programme continues to come under fire. President Obama's rationale for spying was that it was intended for foreigners, not Americans. Now that European leaders are complaining about the tracking of "foreigners," how legitimate is the N.S.A. surveillance programme now ?

(Updated : Friday 25 Oct 2013 8:20 a.m.)

France In The NSA Crosshairs : Phone Networks Under Surveillance

I was unable to post this information as a status update on Facebook this morning, so I am sharing it here, hoping that I can link back to it on Facebook.

Facebook NSA Spy Programme Censorship photo 2013-10-21-untitled-ScreenShot2013-10-21at092415_zpsa163c110.png

France summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to the French Foreign Ministry office on the Quai d'Orsay to protest allegations in Le Monde newspaper about large-scale spying on French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency.

"If an allied country spies on France or spies on other European countries, that's totally unacceptable," French interior minister Manuel Valls told Europe 1 radio, according to a Reuters report published by The New York Times.

Meanwhile, CNN is also reporting that according to Le Monde, this is how the system worked : "When a telephone number is used in France, it activates a signal which automatically triggers the recording of the call. Apparently this surveillance system also picks up SMS (text) messages and their content using key words. Finally, the NSA apparently stores the history of the connections of each target -- or the meta-data." It wasn't immediately clear from the article if the conversations were being recorded or just the data surrounding each call. The CNN report added that the Le Monde investigation followed a separate report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, which showed that the NSA "systematically" eavesdropped on the Mexican government. It hacked the public e-mail account of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, which was also used by Cabinet members, according to Der Spiegel.

Separately, in an article published in English this morning by Le Monde, Glenn Greenwald shared a by-line in an article questioning why France has not been as critical as Germany or Brazil of the U.S. spy programme on sovereign nations. The article concludes with indication of the global nature of the U.S. spy programme : "One of the documents which Le Monde was able to consult notes that between 8 February and 8 March 2013, the NSA collected, throughout the world, 124,8 billion telephone data items and 97,1 billion computer data items. In Europe, only Germany and the United Kingdom exceed France in terms of numbers of interceptions."

(Originally Posted : Monday 21 Oct 2013 9:15 a.m.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

James Capalino, Other Lobbyists Lined Up To Help Host Million-Dollar Bill de Blasio/Hillary Clinton Fundraiser

James Capalino, Other Lobbyists Lined Up To Help Host Million-Dollar Bill de Blasio/Hillary Clinton Fundraiser

From Daily News Daily Politics :

The host committee of Bill de Blasio's million-dollar Monday-night fundraiser with Hillary Clinton read like a who's who of big-league city lobbyists -- and it's drawing fire from his GOP foe in the mayor's race.

"The level of Bill de Blasio's hypocrisy is alarming. He takes cash from developers and special interests while telling New Yorkers he supports something different," Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Republican nominee Joe Lhota, told the Daily News. "I don't think anyone can trust who the real Bill de Blasio is when he always tries to play both sides."

De Blasio spokesman Dan Levitan declined comment on both Proud's comments or the number of lobbyists involved in the cash bash.

Among those on the host committee for the Roosevelt Hotel soiree : James Capalino, who in the past lobbied for Rudin Management, which is developing high-end condos near the site of the shuttered St. Vincent's Hospital, and A-list lobbyist Suri Kasirer, who has met with de Blasio on Atlantic Yards project.

Kasirer characterized her role in the fundraiser as more about old friendships than pending business.

"It was kind of like Old Home Week," said Kasirer, who said her 25-year friendship with the mayoral frontrunner goes back to the administration of former Mayor David Dinkins and continued through and past Clinton's 2000 run for the Senate.

While Kasirer says she's closely watching issues that may extend into the next administration, such as Midtown East rezoning, she painted the evening as "a way for a lot of New Yorkers to give a boost to Hillary and let her know that we were eagerly waiting for her decision and want her to run [for president]...

"I think for me it was less about lobbying than it was about sort of longtime relationships."

Capalino didn't immediately return a call about the fundraiser.

Fordham University's Costas Panagopoulos said the list wasn't surprising given that given that "money follows power and special interests can read the polls just as well as anyone else can," and that de Blasio and many of his backers are "established politicians with access to lobbyists and other donors" happy to help raise cash for a man who may make decisions critical to their clients.

The political science prof also said there is of course the issue of "whether someone who's been elected partly as a result of having attracted considerable financial support is subsequently beholden to those interests" if he or she wins.

"We'd like to think that kind of quid pro quo -- or some would go so far as to call it corruption -- doesn't exist, but it's a legitimate question," he said. "Answering this question will require vigilance and surveillance if [de Blasio is] elected."

Others on the lengthy host committee list included Stan Natapoff and Alexandra Stanton of Empire Global Ventures; Rachel Amar of Waste Management Of New York; and Michael Woloz of Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Guardian wins Gannett Foundation Awards for NSA and GCHQ Files Reporting

"The Guardian has won two 2013 Online Journalism Awards. At a ceremony in Atlanta on Saturday night, the Guardian accepted the Gannett Foundation Award for Investigative Journalism and the Gannett Foundation Watchdog Journalism Award, both for its work on the issue of National Security Agency surveillance. Now working in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica, since June the Guardian has investigated and reported upon NSA files leaked to it by the former NSA analyst Edward Snowden. The investigation has expanded to the include the operations of GCHQ, the British government's surveillance centre. The three journalists who broke the story were Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill," The Guardian is reporting.

"The OJAs are awarded by the Online News Association, the world's largest association of digital journalists, working in partnership with the University of Miami's School of Communication. Other winners on Saturday night included the Boston Globe, which was honoured for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and other stories, the Texas Tribune and the New York Times," the report concluded.

Read more : Guardian wins two online journalism awards for NSA Files reporting : Guardian wins Gannett Foundation Award for Investigative Journalism and Watchdog Journalism Award in Atlanta

Friday, October 18, 2013

Amanda The People's Clueless Burden AKA Gentrification Enabler

'What We Haven't Figured Out Is the Question of Gentrification'

From The Atlantic :

Maintaining enough affordable housing and keeping income diversity in a city as it prospers are two of the most contentious and perplexing questions in U.S. urban policy today. In a CityLab panel on urban expansion, economist and New York University professor Paul Romer decried rent control and argued that affordability is a problem for the free market to solve — and met with objections from Amanda Burden, director of New York City’s department of city planning.

"I had believed that if we kept building in that manner and increasing our housing supply … that prices would go down," Burden said. "We had every year almost 30,000 permits for housing, and we built a tremendous amount of housing, including affordable housing, either through incentives or through government funds. And the price of housing didn’t go down at all. That’s a practitioner’s point of view."

"What we haven’t figured out is the question of gentrification," Burden added. "I have never, since I had this job, come up with a satisfactory answer of how to make sure everyone benefits. It’s a question I would welcome more answers as to how to make this a more equitable city. Because that’s how we continue to attract people from all over the world, is people perceive the city as an equitable city, and a city with opportunity for all. It’s not just those poetic words. But I really wonder how we can do it."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NYC's Impotent Protected County Political Party Bosses

New York Party Bosses Can't Get It Up Anymore

I am not endorsing the Working Families Party, but, as a third party, it was able to make advances this year, even though it may have involved shenanigans. Until the neoliberalism can be gutted out of the Democratic Party, maybe supporting a third party can either lead the Democrats to reform themselves (or face irrelevancy) or else help build up a third party that can actually deliver reforms ? Either way, reformers win.

From True News From Change NYC :

Broken Party Bosses. Today both The Daily News and City and State both have done stories crediting the Working Families Party with winning the Mayoral election. What both papers failed to talk about is the disconnect of the city's Democrats and Republicans party bosses from the voters in their own parties. In other words they can no long deliver the vote. More importantly they represent only themselves and a few close criminal co-conspirators in dysfunctional parties that have cut off the public they claim to represent. The Queens Boss supported Quinn, the Bronx and Brooklyn bosses supported Thompson the Manhattan and Staten Island bosses did not endorse anyone. Over on the Queens side none of the party bosses supported Joe Lhota in the primary, but the voters in their party did.

Party Bosses and Ballot Lines For Sale. Former Bronx Republican Party leader Jay Savino and Queens GOP Vice Chair Vincent Tabone wait for their used to selling their party line to Bloomberg tried to sell their party this year to Malcolm Smith. The Queens party leaders even lost control of who runs the Board of Elections. It very strange that the media is doing story of Bill Lipton's WFP big win and not talking about who the losers are. What the newspaper should be looking into is not only the corruption connected to these party leaders, but how few people participate in party elections and picking who leads party bosses. Why are the newspapers and the city's permanent government, led by the partnership protecting the party leaders? The cluelessness of their Quinn endorsement shows they are as disconnected from the voters as the party bosses are. The permanent government has allowe a political and election system where only cleaver activists from the WFP know how to win in. And a media that covers the horse race rather the getting to the realities of the real issues that effect New Yorkers. The Working Families Party's long game is paying off(NYDN) * Last Look: Bill Lipton (City and State)

Robert Kennedy : The Last NY Politician, Who Tried to Reform the Party Bosses * Incumbent Protection * Party Leaders. Elected officials have taken over the party positions with the sole purpose of centralizing power and using it resources to help them get reelected. The party has no agenda or issue it pushes for. Most of the people in party positions have never beenchallenged. It function more like the old soviet union' Communist Party, then a democratic institution. It is even allow according to the U.S. Supreme Court to use politics to pick judges. Lopez Torres v. NYS Bd of Elections

Elected Officials, Reformer, Goo Goos Groups Silent On Party Reform. It has been 50 years since anyone has tried to reform New York's Democratic Party. In the mid 60's Robert Kennedy who defeated the democratic machine to become senator set his sights on cleaning up the state's Democratic Party. Kennedy tried to clean up Manhattan’s Surrogate Court, which to this day remains a Piggy bank for party patronage. Kennedy called the Court "a political toll booth exacting tribute from widows and orphans." He took aim at cronyism in Albany and fought to strengthen home rule of New York City. He also proposed nonpartisan redistricting, a move aimed at eliminating one of the main tools party leaders use to keep their incumbents in office for decades. Fiercely battled by a faction of the Democratic machine, Kennedy’s attempts reform the city's political parties died with his 1968 assassination. So called reformer and good government groups have never taken up his cause.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Parkside Group's Citizen's United Invisible Campaign Consultant/Lobbyist Operates in Dark Pools

Dark Pool Politics - Lobbyists, Meetings, and Backroom Deals are Hidden - Bill de Blasio photo DarkRoomPoliticsSlideExport_zps8f346168.jpg

NY's Corrupt Campaign Culture Enablers

The Parkside Group's Evan Stavisky is using the Supreme Court's Citizen United ruling to completely hide from the city and state campaign disclosure reporting reporting system. Despite being involved in over 50 campaigns this year, the Parkside name is not in the Campaign Finance Board or NYS Board of Elections campaign disclosure reporting files. How about that Moreland Commission ? Stavisky ran the so-called independent expenditure PSC Jobs4NY, which spent $10 million to elect council members and is now working with the Queens' Democratic organization and other PAC's to elect the next speaker. Last year, Parkside made $1.8 million in lobbying fees. Parkside also took in $2.77 million from Albany legislators' campaigns.

New York's Culture of Corruption is Caused By The Consultants Who Elect Politicians. Campaign Consultants/Lobbyists are often "connected at the hip,” said NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney. What the NYPIRG worker was saying their is a secret bond between elected officials and those that run their campaigns. What NYPIRG has not looked at is the secret bonds between campaign consultants many of whom are also lobbyist. These secret bonds were not caused by the courts but by the state's weak campaign reporting requirements. Parkside which was paid over $2 million by the Democrat Senate Campaign Committee hires other consultants to do some of the work, but does not have to disclose who they are paying. The big money and lack of rules have developed a secret world of Dark Pool where campaign consultants make deals giving each other work and trade support for their lobbyists clients.

Campign Consultants Working On More Than One Side in the Same Time. This secret horse trading world has not only created a monopoly on who becomes a campaign consultant the money and power the chosen consultants are making and amassing has caused them to become sloppy arrogant as they go for the big money. Incredibly with the help of Citizens United they have found a way to work on more than one side in the same race. The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm worked secretly to promote her opponent Cory Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing.True New is working on more examples of campaign consultants working together to game New York's election system and why the DAs, Moreland and AG is silent on the Advance Groups Corruption

Jobs4NY Parkside Helped Elected to the New Council : Margaret S Chin (1), ), Inez E Dickens (9), Andrew Cohen (11), Andrew King (12), Fernando Cabrera (14), Vanessa L Gibson (16), Paul A Vallone (19), Costa G Constantinides (22), Costa G Constantinides (22), Rory Lancman (24), Laurie Cumbo (35), Ritchie Torres (36), Rafael L Espinal, Jr. (37), Alan Maisel (46), Mark Treyger (47), John Mancuso (50)

How Come the Millions Spent By PACS are Not Included in the Lobbyists Tally. About $105 million was spent on lobbying in the first six months of the year, the lowest in five years, according to a JCOPE report.

Another Secret Attack Between Two Elected Officials Through A PAC. Independent Expenditure Effort Raises Eyebrows in the Bronx(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda were two of mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio’s earliest backers. But behind the scenes–as the two appeared together at press conferences–Mr. Sepulveda’s chief of staff, Kenneth Thomas, was serving as a board member on a political action committee that had set its sights against her.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Are Angela George and Sanjay Sola helping President Obama politicize the US DOJ ? (Lt. Dan Choi FOIA Request Update)

See Also New Advisory : FOIA Appeal Update Regarding the DOJ's ''vindictive prosecution'' of Lt. Daniel Choi (7 Dec 2013)

Why won't the the US DOJ answer the FOIA Request about Lt. Dan Choi's arrest ?

I'm sharing with you an update on the freedom of information request sent to the U.S. Department of Justice.

On May 6, 2013, the DOJ received my FOIA request. The request sought information and records pertaining to serious questions of the government's prosecution of Lt. Daniel Choi. Since that time, the DOJ has denied my application for expedited processing, and it has delayed the production of any information and records. After several attempts to determine when the DOJ was going to answer the FOIA request, I have produced a YouTube video about the history of the request. I'm also asking you for your help.

Please send an e-mail to : or call : (202) 252-6038 and ask the DOJ to answer FOIA Request 13-1506.

What you can do :

  • Kindly send an e-mail to Angela George, the prosecutor in Lt. Choi's case, at : -- and ask her for her help to expedite the DOJ's response to the FOIA request. Please refer to the DOJ's FOIA Request No. 13-1506. - and/or -
  • Kindly call Sanjay Sola at : (202) 252-6038 and ask him when the DOJ plans to answer to the FOIA request.

Prior to the government shutdown, it appeared that the DOJ was not going to provide any information or records in response to my request. Indeed, the Obama administration now has a track record of not answering FOIA requests.

See : Obama Administration Failing To Meet Transparency Pledge With FOIA Requests (Firedoglake)

There are several problems with the government's case against Lt. Choi. The most serious issue is that a judge ruled that there was enough evidence to show that the government was carrying out a "vindictive prosecution" against Lt. Choi.

The third day of the U.S. government's trial of former Lt. Dan Choi ended with a 10-day delay for the government to seek an order from a higher court stopping the decision made today by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola to allow Choi's lawyers to argue the government singled out Choi for "vindictive prosecution."

Facciola said this morning that he had found there was prima facie evidence for "vindictive prosecution," meaning enough evidence was presented to allow Choi's lawyers to pursue such a claim. As a result, Choi's lawyers would be able to ask for more documents and evidence from the government in order to investigate if higher-level officials advised their subordinates to try Choi in federal court rather than district court.

See : Updated : Judge Allows Lt. Dan Choi's ''vindictive prosecution'' Defense (Daily Kos)

The mixed motivations of the government's case against Lt. Choi seem to follow a pattern of other federal prosecutions of activists. Examples of the government's questionable persecution of activists are mentioned in the YouTube video and are cited in the FOIA request.

Link to YouTube video : Why won't DOJ answer FOIA Request about Lt. Dan Choi ?

Link to FOIA request : Lt. Daniel Choi - Vindictive Prosecution DOJ FOIA Request (Scribd)

If you are able to e-mail the Hon. Madame Prosecutor or are able to speak with or leave a message for Mr. Sola, I would greatly appreciate it. Even if there is a government shutdown, your e-mail or voice-mail message can help us. Please let me know if you make contact with anybody.

2013-04-30 Lt Daniel Choi DOJ FOIA Request Louis Flores by Connaissable

Please share this video, the information, and the link. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Half a dozen NYPD officers reportedly involved in motorcycle gang attack, reports NY1

At Least Six Cops Took Part In Biker Gang Attack On SUV

NY1 just reported that there were at least half a dozen NYPD officers involved in the motorcycle gang attack of a couple weeks ago, and the NY1 anchor Ruschell Boone added in her report that that number could rise.

Last week, it was reported that undercover NYPD Internal Affairs officer Wojciech Braszczok took part in the violent motorcycle gang attack.

Following Mr. Braszczok's arrest, it was revealed that he had been an undercover officer that had infiltrated and spied on Occupy Wall Street.

Yesterday, DNA reported that a "fourth NYPD officer came forward Friday admitting he was riding with the road rage mob of motorcyclists involved in the vicious beating of a Manhattan father in Washington Heights nearly two weeks ago."

Good Government Group Lashes Out At Cuomo Over Interfering With Moreland Commission

Can't Anyone Investigate Corruption Anymore ?

The Moreland Commissioners Should Stop Making Noise and Instead Build A Case, Like the Senator Sam Ervin Hearings Did, Forcing Nixon to Resign After They Exposed the Watergate Scandal, According To True News From Change.

The editorial board of The New York Daily News has some advice to the members serving on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's anti-corruption Moreland Commission, which is headed by three different co-chairs : William Fitzpatrick, Kathleen Rice, and Milton Williams :

  • First, their job description does not include bluster, even delicious bluster. While his thrust was right, Fitzpatrick was off the dial in explaining why the Legislature must be the commission’s central target as follows: “Thirty members of the governor’s staff haven’t been walked out in handcuffs in the last five years.”

  • Second, they should stick to facts. Fitzpatrick justified subpoenaing legislators’ law firms with speculative innuendo: “We’re talking about six-figure retainers from people that as far as we know never go to court. I suspect the real problem is going to be for those who have to answer it and say, ‘You know what, in all honesty, I don’t do anything for this massive amount of money I get.’ "

  • They need to become far more transparent. As a first step in that direction, they should drop any notion that the commission is a law enforcement authority. It’s a fact-finding operation, not a prosecutor’s office, and must be subject to full public scrutiny. As such, the panel should disclose every subpoena.

  • They must shut the door to negotiating potential reform laws with the Legislature. The panel’s primary mission is to present specific case histories and information that can inform a debate among elected officials about legislative fixes.

From : Reform the reformers : Cuomo's anticorruption commission must get its act together (The New York Daily News)

Meanwhile, The New York Times is concerned that after a promising start, Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption is becoming little more than a branch of the governor’s political network: (Will New York’s Political Watchdog Pass the Test ?)

Susan Lerner Common Cause New York photo common-cause-susan-lerner-628x471_zps698c24c2.jpg

Common Cause New York sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman saying that any interference in the Moreland Commission would be a “shocking waste of momentum for meaningful change,” according to Capital New York.

Looks Like Cuomo's Inept Fake Poser Moreland Commission Is About To Get Fucked

Constant Updates From True News From Change NYC :

Cuomo's Plan B : Cuomo Seeks to Resurrect an Ethics Deal (WSJ). Members of a state panel investigating New York political corruption are involved in talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to craft a new package of ethics laws, said people familiar with the discussions.

Moreland Abortion : New York's Fake Press Will Give Cuomo A Pass For Aborting Moreland, But Not The National Press Based In Washington

Andrew Cuomo : Cuomo chickens out on corruption photo andrew-cuomo_zps36133674.jpg

Cuomo denied that he personally ordered his anti-corruption Moreland Commission to quash subpoenas bound for his allies. Spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa says the ‘governor did not advise’ the commission on subpoenas — didn’t say if any of his aides did. (NY Daily News) * NYC housing advocates are losing hope that the Moreland Commission will dig deeply into the state’s politically-corrupt real estate industry. (The Gotham Gazette) * Cuomo chickens out on corruption. Never mind. That’s the message Gov. Cuomo just sent about his vow to clean up Albany. (The New York Post) * (Gov. Cuomo Denies Ordering Subpoenas Be Killed, But More Vague On If He Advised It : The New York Daily News)

Is Gov. Cuomo in a situation that may sink his political ship ?

Cuomo doing damage-control over anti-corruption commission — gets no favors from GOP (The New York Daily News) Cuomo may want to reignite talks with the Legislature on ethics reform, but Senate Republicans are letting him know, says an insider, ‘We may very well do it, but we’re not doing it on your time frame.' * The Moreland Commission has announced plans, amid mounting criticism from bloggers and reform activists to investigate the Democratic state party as "part of an inquiry into how political parties use loosely regulated fund-raising accounts, known as housekeeping committees. One area of interest is the use of housekeeping funds to pay for political advertising." Panel to Investigate State Democratic Party (NYTimes) * Cuomo’s Office Is Said to Rein In Ethics Board He Created (NYTimes) Some of the bloggers and reform activists that cheered the creation of the Moreland Commission are worrying that its investigative efforts are losing credibility.

Is Long Island Prosecutor Kathleen Rice's Reputation Going Down The Toilet ?

Andrew Cuomo Kathleen Rice Maitre Karlsson photo andrew-cuomo-kathleen-rice-maitre-karlsson_zpsf2dca878.jpg

Critics question how deeply corruption panel co-chair Kathleen Rice would probe Sheldon Silver after campaign contributions. State government officials are questioning how aggressively Gov. Cuomo's corruption panel would investigate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, after the law firm that employed Silver gave nearly $300,000 in campaign donations to co-chair and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. (The New York Daily News)* Governor’s Crusade Against Corruption Comes With Too Many Asterisks (NYTimes) * To Gut Independence of Moreland Commission, Cuomo appointed Kathleen Rice as co-chair. Rice had been Cuomo's favourite for Attorney General before Eric Schneiderman won the AG race. (Capital New York) * Cuomo's naming of Rice to co-chair of Moreland Commission was a way to cut out Schneiderman from Moreland investigation of political corruption.

An agent with all the ethics of Maître Karlsson investigating corrupt Albany ethics ? Rice, ostensibly the “face” of the commission, has served as Nassau County district attorney since 2005, and is currently running for reelection. A prolific fundraiser who had over $2 million in her campaign coffers heading into the her reelection battle, she also received $300,000 in donations from the law firm that employs Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Rice is a staunch Cuomo ally who ran for Attorney General in 2010. She was seen by many as Cuomo’s choice in the race over the winner, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. In a 2009 debate, she was the only Democratic candidate for attorney general to refuse a pledge to seek higher office in the next eight years if elected to the position. Rice’s name has also been linked to aborted Congressional runs. (Gotham Gazette)

This is exactly the way Maître Karlsson does business. Rice is now being criticized by Democrats for disposing of politically-motivating corruption allegations against former Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Dale. It is said that, at the order of a political donor, the police commish ordered the arrest of a witness in a corruption case. Rice's finding of no criminality in the witness tampering case was reported to have been carried out with the intention to "protect political cronies." (The New York Daily News)

Moreland Not News to Local TV News

Paid TV Ads Run By Local TV Stations Act To Block Any TV News On Moreland Commission. Local TV Makes Millions Off Of Pro Cuomo Ads and Does Not Cover the Moreland Commission Killing of Subpoenas to Investigate Where The Money to Pay for Those Misinforming NY Good For Business Ads Came From . . . . Sources said the subpoena sought to seek information on the party’s spending from its “housekeeping” account — which raised millions this year used to fund ads promoting Cuomo’s legislative agenda. Cuomo's anti-corruption panel stops at investigating his own Democratic party (The New York Daily News). A subpoena that sought to seek information on the New York Democratic party’s spending from its ‘housekeeping’ account was never sent, sources tell the Daily News. NY Democrats say they raised $7 million (UPDATED) (Albany Watch) * Pro-Cuomo lobbying group disbands (The New York Daily News) * Pro-Cuomo Group Repeats as Top Spender on Lobbying (The New York Times)

TV Makes $$$ Telling Us NY is Open For Business While in Truth It is Closed Shut. How can TV run ads saying NY good for business when The Tax Foundation said New York has the worst business climate in the nation New York is the unfriendliest state for business (The New York Daily News)

Gov. Cuomo will pay a political price for killing the Moreland Commission

Even worse, doing so would destroy the confidence of an already wary public that anything meaningful can be done to curb the way money corrupts politics in Albany.* “What gives, Mr. Cuomo?” The Albany Times Union writes on the Moreland Commission. “As dismal as this all is, it may not be too late for this commission to succeed — if Mr. Cuomo can keep his hands off it, regardless of whose feathers get ruffled, and if the commissioners haven’t lost their vision of the original goal and their will to do something about it. If not, Mr. Cuomo should be prepared to own a failure as embarrassing as the system he vowed to fix.”

Preet Bharara - The Only Policeman In New York State photo Preet-Bharara-dbpix-henning-tmagArticle-NYTimes_zpsaf6e1719.jpg
Preet Bharara : New Media Will End NYC's Journalism of Sheep. In testimony before the Moreland Commission, Mr. Bharara lamented the loss of investigative journalists, but he put high hopes on new outlets and revived old media. * U.S. Attorney To Commission : Political Corruption Is Out Of Hand In New York State (CBS New York) :

To repeat a longstanding lament, investigative journalists have become a dying breed, although there are still a few extraordinary practitioners, some of whom are here tonight. With each press outlet that closes or downsizes, opportunities to ferret out fraud and waste and abuse are lost.
And that is too bad because, as Edward R. Murrow once observed, 'A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.'
But maybe the thinning ranks of investigative journalists will be fortified :
Maybe Politico’s purchase of Capital New York and its planned infusion of staff and resources will mean more Albany muckraking.
Maybe Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post and his reported interest in rejuvenating a storied history of eye-popping investigations will prove contagious.
And maybe fresh news outlets like BuzzFeed whose editors are said to be bent on doubling down on political investigations will provide grist for Commissions like this one.
We shall see.

Freed from the bondage of Cuomo (for now)

Andrew Cuomo and Kathleen Rice - Moreland Commission Political Ethics Corruption photo andrew-cuomo-kathleen-rice-crop_zps55d8a7f9.jpg

Off the leash : Gov. Cuomo's anti-corruption Moreland Commission shows some teeth. Not until Gov. Cuomo was at risk of losing what little bit of credibility he has with progressive Democrats did he finally bless Kathleen Rice's subpoenas of the state Democratic Party's housekeeping accounts. (The New York Daily News)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Queer Nation NY protests against Russian LGBT discrimination enablers continue, this time at Carnegie Hall

Activists from the LGBT group Queer Nation NY organized a demonstration at Carnegie Hall on Thursday night, October 10. Activists demonstrated outside of the famed concert hall while some activists jeered Putin supporter Valery Gergiev, who was conducting an orchestra that evening. LGBT advocacy groups like Queer Nation have been organizing boycotts and protests of Russian businesses and other interests ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun a crack-down on LGBT's in Russia.

See Also : WQXR Blog : Gay Rights Protesters Follow Gergiev to Carnegie Hall

The protest at Carnegie Hall last night was preceded by another protest a few weeks ago at the opening night gala at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The First Annual Million Mrs Roper March, Southern Decadence 2013

This year, a band of men dressed up in drag as the Mrs. Roper character from the hit sitcom, Three's Company as part of the events at the Southern Decadence 2013 festival in New Orleans. Here's a video from Vimeo :

The First Annual Million Mrs Roper March, Southern Decadence 2013 from Bryan Block on Vimeo.

U.S. Park Police told man to stop mowing the lawn during government shutdown

To Help During Shutdown, Man Mows Lawn Around Lincoln Memorial photo shutdown-man-mows-lawn-lincoln-memorial-washington-monuments-ap706538594125_custom-9f87a5080194b7a65eaf9dbf73b5c558741ed212-_zpse622b900.jpg

Chris Cox of Mount Pleasant, S.C., pushes a cart near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, on Wednesday. He was mowing the lawn around the Lincoln Memorial when U.S. Park Police told him to stop offering to help the government during the Tea Party shutdown.

See the NPR report : To Help During Shutdown, Man Mows Lawn Around Lincoln Memorial.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Crane Emergency at One57 Highrise

BREAKING : Another crane emergency at the troubled luxury high-rise development known as One57, located on West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan near Central Park. Early reports indicate that there has been a malfunction of the crane at the construction site.

"Police have closed West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, placing the area under a so-called Level One Mobilization," reported WPIX. This is the same construction site, which suffered from a partial crane collapse during Hurricane Sandy last year.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

BBC NEWSNIGHT : Glenn Greenwald full interview on Snowden, NSA, GCHQ and spying

Exclusive interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald on Edward Snowden, the PRISM revelations and mass surveillance. BBC journalist Kirsty Wark conducted a deeply hostile interview on Thursday night's edition of Newsnight, and Mr. Greenwald defended his courageous role in standing up to out-of-control government surveillance.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Did Scott Levenson sabotage Yetta Kurland's campaign in order to elect Corey Johnson ?

Scott Levenson : Biggest Loser Of The Week

Scott Levenson photo Scott-Levenson_zps050a043b.png

Scott Levenson – Levenson’s consulting firm, The Advance Group, appears to have found a sure-fire way to come out on top in campaigns: secretly represent both sides! That’s what seems to have happened in the race for New York City Council between Yetta Kurland and Corey Johnson. On one hand, The Advance Group was getting paid to run an independent expenditure for the animal rights group NYCLASS supporting Kurland; on the other it appears to have been promoting Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing. With consultants like that . . . (City & State)